The incidence of allergies and asthma in the general population has been increasing steadily in the 1990's. Our Section is dedicated to caring for children suffering from these disorders and from bronchopulmonary disease. Research programs bring the latest findings to the community and to medical educational programs.
The Section provides medical assessments and care plans for children with allergic rhinitis, food and environmental allergies, urticaria and angioedema and allergic rashes and asthma. Dr. Raoul Wolf sees these patients at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, the University of Chicago Duchoissois Center for Advanced Medicine and at our off-site clinics in Merrillville, Indiana and Palos Heights, Illinois. Dr. Raj Arora is Director of the Flexible Bronchoscopy Program at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, where he cares for ventilator-dependent patients and those with upper airway anomalies. He consults in the Intensive Care Unit at Hinsdale Hospital and has outpatient clinics for children with bronchopulmonary disease at La Rabida Children’s Hospital and in Joliet.
Medical students and residents rotate through La Rabida Children’s Hospital. The Section provides educational opportunities in specialized courses for students and residents, for whom the faculty teach in the Core Curriculum program. There are opportunities for students and residents to spend elective time in the Section. Complementing eduction efforts of the Section, Dr. Wolf has authored a book entitled “Essential Pediatric Allergy Asthma and Immunology” which is intended primarily for medical students and residents.
The incidence of allergies and asthma in the general population has been increasing steadily in the 1990's. Even more disturbing, the increased severity of attacks has led to a concomitant increase in mortality. Dr. Raoul Wolf has approached both the disparities in asthma incidence and treatment by applying a community approach to these problems. Working with the Chicago Public School system, Dr. Wolf developed and validated a brief screening tool (BPAS+) that can be answered rapidly and has a high predictive value for possible asthma. The BPAS+ has been translated into Spanish and validated. He has studied more than 30,000 students in Chicago schools in impoverished areas, and has found that 34 percent of African-American students have either diagnosed or undiagnosed asthma, as do 25 percent of Hispanic and 20 percent of white students.
The BPAS+ has been adopted by several investigators in Chicago and other cities. With co-investigators in Chicago and New York, Dr. Wolf and his colleagues used the BPAS+ as the basis for a five year federally funded study into Ethnic disparities in asthma. He is co-author on several publications resulting from these studies. Dr. Wolf also participated in the development of a universal asthma screen. This project was conducted under the auspices of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology by investigators in Chicago, Dallas, Cleveland and Rochester (MN). These results have been published. There are plans to roll out the screening tool on a national level.
An essential aspect of the Community approach to asthma is patient care and education. Dr. Wolf directs the La Rabida Community Asthma Program for Children (LCAPC), which he established in 1996. LCAPC provides education on asthma in schools and community centers and directs children identified as having asthma or possibly having asthma into appropriate care. This program has been continuously funded from private and federal sources.
Dr. Wolf has also collaborated on the genetics of asthma, and is a co-author on publications which approach asthma susceptibility through genetics.
The incidence of food allergies in young children has grown at an alarming rate. The incidence of peanut allergy alone in children has more than doubled in five years. It is estimated that eleven million Americans. (A partnership to study this problem is being developed between Children’s Memorial Hospital, the Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.)
Visit the Comer Children's Hospital website for more information about our pediatric allergy and immunology clinical care services.